Miami-Ohio (5-8) at Akron (10-5)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, January 15, 7 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: James A. Rhodes Arena (5,500) -- Akron, Ohio. Television: None. Home Record: Miami-Ohio 3-2, Akron 6-0. Away Record: Miami-Ohio 2-6, Akron 3-3. Neutral Record: Miami-Ohio 0-0, Akron 1-2. Conference Record: Miami-Ohio 1-1, Akron 2-0. Series Record: Akron leads, 26-24.
GAME NOTES: After defeating conference foe Ohio in double overtime on the road, the Akron Zips are looking to extend their current four-game win streak with a home matchup against the Miami-Ohio RedHawks in Mid-American Conference play at Rhodes Arena.
Despite a solid contribution from returning forward Bill Edwards, who suffered a season-ending knee injury last year and made his 2014 debut Saturday, Miami dropped a tight overtime bout with Western Michigan, 78-77. The RedHawks have lost two of their last three games.
Since two consecutive losses to South Carolina in late December, Akron hasn't dropped a game in four consecutive outings, posting a 2-0 conference record in that time. The Zips are coming off a double-overtime thriller against Ohio, which the Zips won 83-80.
Akron holds a slight all-time series advantage against Miami, 26-24. Recently the series has favored Akron heavily, as the Zips have won six straight and own a 14-6 record in Akron.
Edwards poured in a team-high 24 points in a glorious return. But his efforts fell a bit short, as the RedHawks lost in overtime. Edwards added five rebounds and was 8-of-15 shooting from the floor before he fouled out. Will Felder netted 19 points and grabbed seven rebounds in the loss. The RedHawks shot an impressive 94.4 percent from the free-throw line, but couldn't connect from long range, hitting just 6-of-19 from 3-point distance.
Edwards, who was welcomed back to the team with open arms, shot 53.3 percent from the floor in his debut. Felder leads the team this season in scoring with 14.5 ppg on 52.3 percent shooting. He also tops the team in rebounding at 7.3 rpg. Geovonie McKnight nets 10.7 ppg and is second on the team in steals with 24. As a unit, the RedHawks are shooting 43.9 percent this season, and average 66.8 ppg to opponents' 72.8 ppg.
Akron found itself down by six points in the first overtime period to Ohio Sunday, but battled back to force a second extra period, which is all the Zips would need. Quincy Diggs came off the bench to score a team-high 20 points on 6-of-11 shooting - none bigger than his lay-in with 30.4 seconds to go in the second OT period to give the Zips a three-point lead. Diggs added seven rebounds to his stat line. Demetrius Treadwell netted 16 points and pulled down eight rebounds, while Pat Forsythe scored 11.
Treadwell and Diggs are the top two scorers on Akron this season. Treadwell brings in a 13.1 ppg average to the Miami-Ohio game, while Diggs isn't too far behind at 12.7 ppg. Both players are shooting just over 43 percent from the floor. Treadwell paces the team in rebounding at 7.6 rpg in 31.1 minutes of action per contest. The Zips net an average of 70.4 ppg on 42.7 percent shooting this year.
Akron should be able to outscore the RedHawks, especially at home where the Zips are a perfect 6-0 this season. Although Miami has its top scorer back in Edwards, the Zips have more all-around offense than the RedHawks.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Akron 73, Miami-Ohio 66
01/15 10:37:07 ET